How’s this for an interesting trend? A mini-industry is springing up, focusing on the protruding bellies of pregnant women and the artists who paint them.
I learned about it recently, just after I spoke at the TransWorld Halloween Costume & Party Show in Chicago. RoByn Thompson, a frustrated audience member, approached me after my presentation and said she’s having trouble getting a story about her business in the media.
"What do you do?" I asked.
"I’m a body painter," she said.
"And what do you paint?" I asked.
"Well, among other things, I paint pregnant women’s bellies," said RoByn, the owner of NYCBodyArt. Her work is even featured in the book, "The Art of Belly Painting: Everything You Need To Make Your Pregnancy a Masterpiece" by Nancy Price.
Then RoByn whipped out several color photos of her work. I had the same reaction you probably did. My jaw dropped. Publicity Hound Phyllis Cambria, who hired speakers for the show, was standing next to me and saw the photos, too. We looked at each other and immediately began rattling off ideas RoByn can pitch.
RoByn said her target audience is mostly upscale, usually liberal women in–where
else?–New York City, where she lives.
"What do liberal, upscale women in New York City read?" I asked. "Find those publications, and pitch them."
Then Phyllis chimed in, "Pitch this as a fun activity at baby showers. And don’t forget about all the mainstream magazines that pregnant women read."
When RoByn said she’s having a difficult time getting pregnant women to agree to be photographed, Phyllis suggested finding a pregnant celebrity who would let RoByn use her belly as a canvas. (Remember all the publicity generated by a very pregnant Demi Moore when she appeared sans clothes on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine?)
Before long, seven other people within earshot had gathered around us, all throwing out ideas for RoByn, who was taking notes furiously.
Our brainstorming session took less than 10 minutes. People who were stumped coming up with story ideas about their own balloon stores and costume shops had no trouble generating story ideas to pitch for pregnant belly painting.
That’s not unusual. Many of you have told me you like the "Help This Hound" section of my ezine the best, because it forces you to think creatively about somebody else’s publicity problem. That, in turn, eventually helps you think creatively about your own.
The next time you’re stuck, gather together a group of friends. Then throw out your problem and let them have at it. You’ll be amazed at what you end up with.
Sometimes a short, well-written pitch letter is all it takes to get an editor’s attention. BL Ochman explains how she writes pitch letters to get her clients into papers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times."How to Write a Pitch Letter More Powerful Than a News Release" is available as a CD or electronic transcript. Each comes with sample pitch letters BL has used.